Wednesday-Sunday from 5pm-late
Saturday & Sunday from 9am-late
Freemans is available for weddings & private functions
The Team of Professionals
Owner/Chef Nick Freeman has a passion for simple, honest food using only the freshest ingredients. He leads a team of dedicated and talented chefs who share this passion.
At Freemans you will be greeted by a team of people who know their stuff! We place a big emphasis on training and professional development from the back to the front of house. Our team take their role seriously and this is reflected in the level and quality of service they aim to provide every time you visit. There is no doubt that they are the success of Freemans and our success is the key to our longevity!
Come and Join us for Live Jazz every Sunday Lunch!
Visiting friends in Lyttelton we decided on an early dinner at Freemans before heading back to the big smoke. It took a while to get seated due to their 'Live Jazz Sunday' and the good weather making it a very popular place. However we were offered a table and menus and water (sparkling!) and placed an order for some pizzas, zucchini fries and hand cut fries.
Our drinks arrived promptly and fries not long after (we ordered them as a starter). I have not had zucchini fries before, but I'm sold on them! Their hand cut fries were also think and crispy and soft on the inside.
The pizzas arrived and had a nice crispy base and good toppings as well.
My lady-companions had a dessert mix of Cointreau soaked strawberries and some kind of decadent chocolate cake thing. I knew it was good because I only heard moans mixed with giggling and cackling. The plates were spotless so I can assume it was delicious, even without getting a taste myself.
Service had been a bit spotty at the start but once we were at our table it was great. Another traffic jam when paying (we were in a hurry by then of course) and then we were off. Overall, we had a great time and would go back without hesitation.
My husband, a close friend and I arrived before the Sunday lunch crowd. We were meet by a lovely smiling waitress who quickly showed us to a table, got us menus, told us the specials of the day, and got us water. Despite the grey, damp day outside, the restaurant was warm and cosy with pleasant music in the background. We ordered the Special of the day, Lamb, mushroom, spinach and blue cheese pizza; pork belly, crackling and sticky apple salad; chips and zucchini chips. My friend and I shared the pizza which was on a thin crispy base and was very tasty. 4 pieces each was plenty. Bill enjoyed his pork belly which melted in the mouth. We all enjoyed the potato chips and Zucchini chips. To complete the meal we each had a hot drink - flat white, hot chocolate and a chai latte - and we all enjoyed our choices
Having seen a documentary on the Restaurant before and after the February 11th 2011 earthquake we were pleased to have chosen this restaurant today and enjoy the food and ambience.
Went for lunch on a Sunday with a m8. Had a pint of three boys IPA,ordered the arancini and then the chicken salad and another pint. All was very good and well presented. The staff were onto my every wish. The best place to eat in port.
We responded to an advertisement for this restaurant in Metropol. The ad says "breakfast with a view every weekend". I reserved a table for Sunday at 10.30 specifically requesting a table with a view. The response was "done". On arrival we were sent to a table with NO view. When this was pointed out we were told we could sit in the tent area outside to get the view. It was a frosty minus something morning and the tables in this area were bar tables and stools and the area had not been heated - not at all appealing. Service was bad. The waitress gave meals to the wrong people. Coffee was requested to accompany the meal but when it never arrived we had to ask for it again. The restaurant was far from busy and really had no excuses for poor service. The menu was interesting but the food average. The most positive comments from our group were for the home made baked beans. Plates were cold and on a frosty morning the food was soon that way too. On re reading the ad when we got home we can only say it is "misleading advertising". Will we be back? No. This restaurant does not have "harbour views every weekend" .
First time we have dined at Freeman's , what a great restaurant. Our waiter was lovely, the food was fantastic! My partner was particularly happy about the erdinger on tap. We had the cannelloni and beer battered fish and chips -'which were brilliant. We left thinking we would most definitely return, and would highly recommend to family and friends. Thanks for a great meal!
We absolutely loved Freemans!! Just spent a Sunday afternoon there where they had live music on the deck. We had 3 pizzas, canneloni, zucchini fries and fries among our family with 2 kids. The pizzas were very nice, had a thin base and were cooked to perfection. They have great beer (Monteith's Pilsener and Erdinger on tab). The service is very attentive and friendly. We highly recommend
An earlier experience had left a good impression of Freemans so when we were thinking about somewhere where we could take the kids for a bite of late lunch on a Sunday the decision was quickly made.
We were met and quickly seated in the outdoor deck area, however since we were there last time the area has been fully enclosed with one a canopy and heated, this is a great improvement and appreciated as the afternoon got cooler.
We decided to share so we ordered the zucchini fries, chicken liver pate (17) grilled squid with a chilli and mint salsa (17) a capricciosa pizza(22) and a childrens ham and cheese pizza (12) washed down with a bottle of Crater Rim Sauvignon Blanc (38). All were great however next time we will order the zucchini fries seperately as they get cold quickly. The capricciosa pizza was tasty to the extreme. The afternoon was set off by a great live group starting which just provided a wonderful atmosphere. All in all a great total experience and looking forward to the next time.
I frequent Freemans often and think there has been a huge improvement in the standard of their food and service since the new restaurant manager has started. The food is more consistently good, with excellent pasta and pizza options. A particular favourite of ours is the $17 deals they have on Mon-Thurs. My only complaint would be that the zucchini chips are a little difficult to eat and the tomato sauce that comes with the hand-cut potato chips is extremely disappointing. Otherwise, Freemans is a great place for a casual lunch or dinner with friends. Check on Sunday's on the deck with local muso Carmel Courtney. Always a fun time port-side. You'll be seeing me again.
We drink and eat here at least once a week despite not living in lyttelton. The main reason for this being our most frequented bar/restaurant is the exceptional friendliness, attentiveness and professionalism of the staff. They really seem to understand that providing a good experience and a welcoming atmosphere not only makes an enjoyable evening, but encourages return custom.
With the general increase in beer prices throughout the city, a 3 hour happy hour every day is most welcome, particularly for a great beer (3 boys IPA), and $17 pizzas and pastas at selected times are great value for money.
On the food front, we mainly eat the pizzas (usually when on at $17 as we love a bargain). In reference to the previous review, our favourite is the capricciosa (meat pizza) and we particularly love the saltiness. The toppings consist of 3 meats - pepperoni salami and prosciutto - all dry cured meats (ie in salt), this gives you a hint it may be a little salty. There's a great choice of other pizzas with fewer dry cured toppings, another favourite is the mushroom pizza which is also lovely.
In conclusion, most friendly staff in christchurch, great atmosphere (I haven't even mentioned the jazz on Sundays), lovely food and a really good beer to wash it down with. And no, I don't work for them, I just love the place so much.
Went out with a group from work for tea without hubby found the service to be slow and when the waitress took drinks orders she only took orders from her side of the table and wasn't till later she decided to acknowledge our side and take orders. Ok at taking food orders but again really slow I ordered the meat pizza it was much less than expected as I had heard great things about the pizza here. Also far to salty spent much of my night afterwards drinking water. Very disappointed.
A wet weekend and a great excuse to go out for lunch. We were seated and given water, specials explained and left to look at the menu. It took some time to choose, I could eat several of the dishes but that would be greedy, decided on a pizza, Mr choose the antipasti platter for one, a great platter with salmon, prawns, prosciutto, pate, crumbed fish, cheese, relish a pile of char grilled bread, balsamic, herb butter and olive oil and lots more that I can't remember. I was jealous. My only quip was the bread was a little soft, not crisp from the char grilling. My pizza was lovely but I should have said hold the anchovies! A little strong for me. Not a big selection of wine by the glass, but some really good choices.
If you like shiraz, try the Two Hands from Barossa, just lovely. Great service.
We accepted a friend's invitation to dine at Freemans on a Saturday evening. Lyttelton is a bit out of our way so it had never crossed our mind to go to Freemans until then.
Our waitress was friendly and efficient with excellent menu knowledge and great at suggesting food matches. The other waitress on that evening was also extremely pleasant and helpful. The service was spot on even though the restaurant was filled to the gills.
We had the fried zucchini to begin. A little too greasy for my palette but my two companions enjoyed them. My sirloin of beef was a perfect medium rare. My companions had the pork cheeks (a Freemens signature I am told), and a pizza from the specials board. The pizza was authentic thin crust with well balanced proportions of toppings. The pork cheeks were said to be melt-in-the-mouth delicious.
For dessert: an affogato, a tiramisu and a sticky date pudding. My companions were very happy with theirs and my tiramisu was not a classic Italian version (sponge with a hint of liquor and a lovely coffee cream - no savoiardi), but was light and absolutely perfect. I would love to recreate that at home.
We drank pale ale in lieu of wine. After some of the best food I have had in a long time served by pleasant, helpful people, we were stunned at how reasonable our bill was. If you want a special meal in good surroundings and great value for money - you can't go past Freemans. We left vowing to return.
We went for a late birthday celebration on sat night, restaurant was not busy which is no surprise with this time of year, its always great to find a place open so many close over xmas new year, can't blame them christchurch can be a very quiet place. We were shown to our table and given wine list and menu. Ordered drinks and decided on food, I was saving myself for the main but Mr couldn't resist the deep fried prawns with saffron mayo, crispy light batter and cream mayo i couldn't resist stealing one. For mains i had pork cheek with mash and red cabbage, Mr had roast chicken with roast veg and crumbed cooked avocado, i have to say i'm not keen on the cooked avo, but it was crispy on the outside and just warm on the inside so not really cooked. Juicy chicken with beautiful veg, a winner. Pork cheek was melt in the mouth, the whole dish was a delight, more of a winter than summer dish.
We couldn't resist a side of rocket salad and zucchini fries, these could have been hotter when served, not so nice when you can taste the oily deep fryer. But over all a lovely restaurant to make the effort and drive to Lyttleton. The waitress was great, very helpful and lovely personality. I see they do cheap pasta and pizza during the week days, i think the kids would love it. looking forward to going back. thanks freemans
We started with the spinach salad and fried prawns - a fabulous start to the meal. The penne arrabiata was nicely cooked, the tomato sauce had a perfect consistency though watch out for those chillies - the pancetta was gorgeous. I wasn't a fan of the Gluten free Frutti di Mare (seafood) pizza. For pudding we had a simple but delicious Strawberries Romanoff and also the selection of icecreams. The staff were all lovely.
I’m sure the staff were a bit overwhelmed by the private function on the deck outside and as a result our evening didn’t go too well. Adjacent diners who arrived after us were finishing their mains as we waited for our snacks to arrive. Water bottles were left empty and dishes were almost as slow to be removed as they were to appear.
Arriving at 7.30 we ordered breads, olives, and prawns to share and were a little irritated to find only 5 prawns to share between 6 people. Surely we could have been told or given the option of ordering an extra serving!
At 9pm we finally got our mains. The penne arrabiata was so dried out it was left largely untouched, as were parts of the roast chicken. I was so hungry I ate my very small serving of risotto nero despite the rice being overcooked and the consistency a little too wet. Given that squid ink is such a prominent feature of this dish I thought a mention of it on the menu would have been appropriate.
Another long wait with spent dishes and empty glasses prompted me to march off to the bar to find someone to vent my frustration on. To their credit they reacted immediately and tried their best to make amends by removing two mains from the bill and giving us a couple of free desserts and coffees, but for me the damage had been done.
With time running out and while gulping down a tiramisu that lacked depth and tasted like something from a weight watchers cookbook; I wondered if I'd return to risk more tardy service and substandard food.
Popped in for pizza and a few beers. Unfortunately it was the staff who let down the 'Freemans' experience for us.
Overall, the pizzas we ordered were delicious; particularly the quattro formaggi. My partner and I both agreed that the Capricciosa can do without the rocket, as the pepperiness, in our opinion, did not work with the other flavours. Unfortunately the 'hand-cut' chips were frozen. It would have been nice to have been told that they were frozen as we wouldn't have ordered them. Plus, if they are frozen, surely something can be taken off the cost? If not for anything other than a gesture of goodwill.
The staff member who processed our bill was abrupt. She seemed more interested in polishing her wine glass than asking how our meal was. When we left, she gave us a friendly farewell, but it was a little too late.
The staff member who took our order and served us for most of the time never smiled or looked that interested in what we wanted to order. She did however, give the two older ladies in the same room as us, excellent service.
The other main staff member that we saw seemed lovely and when she brought us our pizza, we both agreed how we wish she was serving us, instead of the other woman.
Sorry Freemans, but your service needs a lot of work. It's a shame as it would be nice to have somewhere local you can eat and be treated as one expects when dining out.
We saw the TV programme about what the owners had been through after the earthquakes, so decided to see what Freemans was like. YUMMY. We shared a four cheese pizza and very unusual courgette 'fries' (more like tempura). Great service, can't wait to go back again.
As I sat down to lunch, reading ‘zest’ I realised the review I was reading for Freemans, where I was due to have my dinner that evening. I share Mary Lovell-Smith's general lack of enthusiasm for ordering pasta when she goes out, but then also shared her experience of the chicken and bacon tortellini at Freemans. She described it as the pasta being silky, the chicken filling moist and tender with crispy bacon strips on top and rich blue cheese sauce. Man it was all of that, and then some! I thought the pasta was a wonton wrapper - it was so smooth and silky, the chicken (don't know if it was or not) was so moist and tasty I even wondered if it had been slow cooked. I went with four others, after I told them of the vest review we all ordered the tortellini, we all loved it. Tonight is Wednesday and Mon- Thurs pizza and pasta ( all except one I think) is $15. The dish was rich and while I didn’t have dessert, everyone else had the chocolate and almond torte and said it was beautiful, chocolaty and moist, most of us had Pegasus Bay Riesling, which is always great. Overall it was a lovely evening, it’s a really nice space, the food was fantastic, the staff warm, professional and relaxed, and by that I don’t mean casual I mean they know the menu, they can tell you that the pasta is thin because it is how they make it in-house for that dish, they can tell you which region your wine if from, I think it is a relaxed confidence you get when you really know about the food and wine you serve. Well done Freemans, I can’t wait to come back.!!
Let me just say straight up I REALLY REALLY want to love this place, at the moment the only restaurant in Lyttelton - my local! Great position, great building - always good food... but... it just irritates the hell out of me - and I've now given it a go at different times of the day/evening, week and season but I always leave irked and irritated by - well that's difficult to put your finger on... But I came to the conclusion this week that it's the overtrained staff - they are just downright annoying. And BOSSY, way to bossy. Everything seems to be a big deal and that's just not the Kiwi way.
This is a great shame because the food is good and on occasion really really good. So go - but go prepared.
A beautiful evening at Freemans. The surroundings were comfortable and the service was friendly and attentive. Entrees were generous, two serves of a smooth chicken liver pate, deep fried prawns with a pool of mayo, and a goats cheese-stuffed roll of pasta which our resident vegetarian pronounced delicious. Based on the size of the entrées, a starter course of squid was ordered to accompany a side of spinach, bacon and hazelnut salad as a main course. The level of chilli in the squid and butter beans had just the right level of kick and the salad was simple and superb. The braised pork cheeks with mash were scoffed, and the ravioli of pumpkin, amaretti and sage looked and smelt amazing. Clearly onto a good thing, we didn’t hesitate in ordering dessert and the chocolate and almond torte, tiramisu, pannacotta and portions of gorgonzola/taggelio with celery, apple and honeycomb didn’t disappoint. With a bottle of Jules Taylor sauv, two extra glasses of wine, a g&t, a beer and two cocktails, the total bill came to just over $350. Only two mild niggles, and that was that the entrée and main courses came out very quickly for people who were out for a leisurely Saturday night meal, and near the end of the evening the wait staff seemed to vanish for a while, leaving us with empty glasses - they could easily have got another round of drinks and then coffees out of us. However a great evening was had by all and we'll be back again soon.
Went to Freemans midweek and it was a really great experience. Ordered two pizzas and they were without a doubt the best pizzas we had on our road trip. A little light on the beer availabilty in terms of one brand that they had but otherwise a great experience. We enjoyed ourselves and the food.
We went to Freemans mid week. We have always viewed this place as a slightly up market establishment, fine for special occasions. This was such an occasion, my wife's birthday.
We were sat down snugly on the back wall - space is a bit at a premium, but there's still room for comfort. To our delight they are running a mid week promotion where several mains are on offer at only $15. My wife started with a fabulous crispy pork belly served with Freemans very neat take on Waldorf Salad. I had some deep fried prawns with a salad. Both were outstanding, we pinched each others food in great excitement.Oooh they were so good
For mains we both chose Beef Lasagne. They were generous portions and I must say this was the best Lasagne I've ever had. So good that my wife couldn't eat all hers, so she she took it home for work the next day in a doggy bag. The wine list is sensible, maybe a couple few more Cab Savs would be good, and if I were running the place I would add a little bazzazz with a selection of Kirs, Kir Royals and maybe Bucks Fizz to add that feeling of style that the food and service deserve.
Desserts were a short list including Panna Cotta and a very good Sticky Date Pud. Coffees were well prepared, probably the best in Lyttelton. Definitely the best in fact!
I wish Freemans well - their concept of offering a good deal mid week will win them lots of friends, and they are to be commended very highly. The service team are lovely.It has become already a Christchurch Institution, and I hope saying that isn't the kiss of death...
All in all an excellent dining experience. We had looked forward to dining at Freemans for sometime and we weren't dissapointed.
Right from making the booking to paying the bill, the service was excellent. The food was fantastic and very well presented. The decor is great.I can't fault this restaurant. We will definitely be back and will certainly be recommending it to family and friends.
Visited Freemans for the first time the other weekend for brunch, was very impressed and will be visiting again. Staff really friendly and meals were very yummy. Perfect place to sit and read the sunday papers and have a bite to eat.
We went to Freemans for Sunday lunch and ordered a Pizza. We decided to sit outside as it was a nice day, only to be told we can't serve drinks out here! even though there was a man drinking his drink outside on the footpath! very confusing. Pizza arrived and I thought how is that supposed to feed two people! the base was so thin and the topping was tasteless and non existent. I will have to say we were shocked! This restaurant does not belong in Lyttelton, it simply is not cool enough, however I can see it in Merivale.... sad but true.
So happy Freemans is back in business. Our last time at Freemans was September 3, 2010 - obviously very memorable as it was Christchurch's last evening of non-shaky ground....we had a beautiful dinner that night with friends followed by drinks at a famous Lyttelton bar completely oblivious that some of the buildings we walked past would be destroyed in less than a few hours.
So to come back to Freemans brought back a lot of memories. We had watched the documentary on TV about their journey to re-opening - we were so keen to support them.
We also had one of the most beautiful Canterbury days - bright sunshine, little breeze and a view from the Freemans deck which was amazing. We couldn't have had a better day.
Lunch was great, lots of choice on the menu including their new pizzas. We shared a starter of Fried prawns with Saffron Mayonnaise and Rocket which were beautifully cooked. Following this we shared the Puttanesca pizza with a side of thick cut fries. The pizza was exceptional with plenty of toppings and just the right amount of anchovies. The fries were unbelievably good....they were really big and thick, a little crunchy on the outside with piping hot potato goodness in the middle! And they didn't go cold.....right to the very last one we had, they were hot! Seems strange raving about fries, but these really were awesome.
We both enjoyed our wine choices too, a Tressilian Pinot Gris and a Clos Marguerite Sav Blanc. The service was mostly good. Our main waitress who I think may be the supervisor was excellent, friendly and very professional. Another person who brought out our entree said they were going to bring us back some cracked pepper but never did and didn't clear our dishes after we ate our entree. Little things but it just brought the service score down a little.
Wish we lived in Lyttelton, actually it is probably a good thing we don't, otherwise we would be at Freemans all the time!
Suggested to dine at Freemans to our friend visiting from overseas, and we were all looking forward to experience the delights of this place again. Table booked early for 6pm, and thanks to the waitress we did get a table big enough for our party, after some changes. Drinks quickly ordered, Three Boys for the boys, a delicious Jules Taylor Sav for the girls.
Half of the party ordered starters - the specials with the Zucchini flowers and the goats cheese - the rest of our group wished they would have gone for starters, too, as the wait for the mains to be served took over 45 minutes after the starters had been served (with only two other tables occupied inside).
When mains arrived, from a perfectly cooked Ribeye to the moist Salmon, the two pizzas and the special from the blackboard - all were enjoyed immensely - wishing the portions would be slightly bigger... - on the bright side leaving space for dessert.
Unfortunately our table was needed for another party - so no time left to order and / or enjoy desserts during this visit - maybe next time...
I have been here many times and everytime I have enjoyed it. The waiters are always really friendly and the food absolutely delicious. The serving size is just right. You can tell passion goes into making the food. I love the ravioli, very flavoursome! The cherry tomatoes are sweet and delicious.
With a relaxed and modern style, it is a restaurant anyone would enjoy for a relaxed night out or a special occasion.
Worth the visit.
Great to see them open, even if its a trek across town.
We enjoyed the pork belly with waldof salad, fresh crisp salad with two pieces of pork, i thought the pork a fraction dry and would have been nice with a little sauce or relish.
We shared a caeser salad which was generous and tasty,also a side of zucchini fries, great value for money. Finished with almond tort, not too sweet but the caramelised mandarins were a bit chewy and lots of pips, not so nice. Very attentive service, fast and friendly,lovely to have live music with Carmel and partner. thanks for enjoyable afternoon.
Glad to see these guys open again !!
Had the Linguine Vongole which was amazing and strawberry romanoff for dessert delicious.
Partner had a capricossa pizza which had a thin crispy base with plenty of topping.
The service was sharp and nothing seemed a problem also really enjoyed the three boys IPA.
Cant wait to come back again.
We went on Valentines Day (I know it’s a cliché) and honestly we haven’t had great experiences in the past with V/Day however Freemans exceeded all expectations. Our table was ready for our 8pm arrival and the restaurant was nearly full. We were greeted friendly and given menus. We had a quick browse of the wine list and decided on a Lake Hayes Central Otago Pinot Noir – divine. DH had a Three Boys IPA to start. The wine list was pretty good with a range of verities and prices.
We decided on olives & artichokes as an appetizer and they were excellent. For entre I had the chicken liver pate with toast & onion relish. Smooth and elegant it was simply the best pate I have ever eaten. DH chose the spicy grilled squid with beans and deemed it “pretty good” (this is actually high praise).
We weren’t rushed to our mains – a pleasant surprise on a Monday night. My sirloin arrived as a beautifully cooked medium with delish parsnip puree, crunchy beans and roasted shallots. Lovely and tender it was fabulous. DH (amazingly) choose the vegetarian ravioli. Aubergine and tallegio cheese with bursty little cherry tomatoes, basil and pine nuts it was delicious. Along with some very clever (deep fried) zucchini fries I was gutted I could not fit dessert in.
We decided it was the best meal we had had out in Christchurch for a while.
Carrying on with my New Year's resolution - not only to read reviews but also sharing my experiences :-)
Went there last Friday with 2 friens - a very nice atmosphere , nice understanding waiting staff (and I mean in waiting as we caught up with friends and we were more chatting than actually checking out the menu desciding what we wanted to eat - but as I said, friendly staff - kept on coming back til we finally decided :-) Our friends (vegetarians) ordered a salad first which they enjoyed, hubby and myself shared the fried prawns which were very nice too. For the main our friends ordered the Ravioli (swissbrowns, field & oyster mushrooms, soft herbs & seared Lovat Downs Venison) - must have missed the venison when reading the menu - maybe too much chatting :-) and the Cannelloni (spinach, mushroom & ricotta)which they really liked, hubby had the Seared Nelson Scallops (with mousseline potato, fennel & lemon salad & pancetta)- they were slightely undercooked - and steak-lover myself - I had the Grilled Wakanui Beef Sirloin (with parsnip puree, garlic butter, green beans & shallots).The waitress informed me that the chef suggested to have it medium-rare which just suited me fine and it was divine. As I did not know what Wakanui Beef is I googled it - here it goes:"Wakanui Blue takes its name from the picturesque, grain growing settlement of Wakanui in the South Island of New Zealand. It is an area renowned for farming excellence and for dedication to fine food production.From pastures around the region, only the highest quality beef is selected to become Wakanui Blue."
Very nice dining experience.
As we were using 2 Entertainment cards - the manager was not able to explain how she was going to split the bill and all off a sudden I had a calculator in my hand and was supposed to work out what I wanted to pay.:-)
We are a distinctly senior couple who went to a Saturday lunch to celebrate a birthday. We both chose confit chicken with avocado and an italian bacon, and it was absolutely superb. They did not overdo the green salad with it, and the combined flavours were just delicious. When we asked for chairs on the outside deck, they were provided cheerfully, typical of the friendly service of the waitresses. The prices were for us on the high side, but maybe we just have to pay for quality. We will return, probably as part of a larger family group.
Upon arrival we were promptly seated. The restaurant wasnt busy but there was a nice feeling with the fire glowing and the chatter of other diners. The waitress was polite and efficient. We were in no hurry and our meals rolled put at the perfect pace. Our entrees were warm and tasty and were an excellent prelude if things to come. I enjoyed the steak for my main, it was cooked just how I like it and sliced delicately over the mash. The wine list was small but enough, something on there for every mood. The pricing is geared for the consumer here. They could charge alot more and people would be happy. A great all round experience.
WOW!! We had been intending to eat here for a while after having friends raving about it and finally made it last night. Did I mention... WOW? I feel a bit uncomfortable giving such a high review, but I can't think of a single reason not to. From the moment we entered and were greeted and seated so warmly, immediate menus, followed very quickly by drinks orders and delivery - great wine and beer selection. Started with warm, crispy sourdough bread and 3 dips including a very nice whipped garlic butter. I had the seafood risotto - perfect! Companions had ribeyes and canneloni. All said were excellent. I sampled the ribeye - beautifully medium cooked and really good cut. Side orders of rocket and parmesan, and seriously - try the zucchini fries. Then of course the Tiramisu. I have spent a lifetime waiting for a really good one, and there it was, delicious. Service was perfect from start to finish - a nicer bunch of waitstaff could not be found - delightful and attentive.
Hard to say where to start with such an establishment, I am in complete awe at the skill of Nick and his talented wife, the combination of the two is without a doubt in my mind the best dining experience Christchurch has to offer. Lunch on sunday, busy to be expected. I had a seafood rissotto, tomato based with mussels, grouper, tuna, salmon and prawns with fresh herbs. You cannot put in words the perfection and calibre this dish was cooked at even in the thick of service. My partner had a chicken and avocado salad, once again the plating and cooking techniques are through the roof with details like perfectly fresh avocado, blanched tomatoes and the freshest of greens finished with crisp prosciutto chips. Nick has a great reputation with those in the know for his experience running michelin starred restaurants overseas and I have to say of all the would be "big boys" in the culinary scene of Christchurch and having dined here 4 times his consistancy in EXCEPTIONAL food makes him #1 in my opinion. The prices are more than justified with a 10/10 experience and 10 for ingredients 10 for restaurant staff (although this sunday lunch was a little more casual) There is however one fault, the location and size. Fix this and i'll be happy to wait a month on the reservation list. Great work you two!!!
We kind of didn't factor in that it was Mother's Day so we were lucky to find a seat but we were warmly and enthusiastically welcomed in by the staff. The bread and dips to start with were very yummy. Home-made pesto I'm guessing. I had the fried prawns which I have to say were well presented and extremely good! The other meal was the cannelloni which was good too. Hot fries on the side, which were just perfect. We only came across this place while we were out for a wander and I’d definitely go back. Well done!
Through the Tunnel to the Farmers Market, then to Freemans for brunch. I thought I wasn't that peckish after all the sampling at the market but I couldn't resist the mushrooms on toast with spinach and chedder. They were delicious but for some reason left a funny furry feeling on the inside of my teeth. Weird. The BF had the standard eggs bene which he said was exceptional - I had a wee taste of the hollandiase and it was yum. Coffee and service were both fantastic.
Went there one saturday morning in September just because we did not know where else to go to.
We were not deceived as the meal was EXCEPTIONAL
The boy had the BEST-EVER-MADE-ON-THIS-PLANET gnocchi. Freshly made and melting in your mouth.
My main was really good (cannot remember what it was).
the only downside were the toilets. Felt like being a Friday night in one of the clubs in town...not a great sight and not clean.
It is really a shame because the toilets should be the reflection of the restaurant cleaning standards.
We were about to leave after visiting the loos but we decided to stay because we did not know where else to go and food-wise, we did not regret it one second.
Went to Freemans on a whim for DH's birthday November 8th.We had jumped in the car to see ehre we would end up.
It was sunny , we had not booked but they made room for us outside.
It was packed.
The Waitress was REALLY exceptional, very prompt and obliging but what struck me was she took our order( 4 people, 3 courses and wine along with 2 different soft drinks).
She wrote nothing down.
Everything we ordered came timed beautifully , nil mistakes. Fabulous.
We had the breads, grizzini(sic) with pesto etc then the cumberland sausage, the salmon, the chicken and I had the prawns.
Our Son had the chocolate tart with mandarine tart and vanilla bean ice cream which we all fought over.
We will be returning very soon.
I really liked the electic mix of people that were dining too.
Friendly , relaxed, good live music.
We will return soon to Freemans.
I was expecting great things from this place and that's exactly what I got!
Had read TONNES of great reviews and heard good things by word of mouth so had a wee nosey on their website and noticed that they have live jazz on Sunday afternoons. AWESOME!
Well we chose a nice, sunny, Sunday afternoon to head out to Lyttelton. Service was prompt and we were seated outside where we could hear the live music on the deck. Ordered our drinks and received them quickly, then ordered an entree to share and some mains. Entree of squid was fresh and tasty, great flavours and well marinated. Ribeye steaks were cooked spot on and everything on the dish was seasoned perfectly. All the flavours went so well together, the caramelised onions, the mushrooms, the mash and the bearnaise sauce.. yum! Presentation was also very good. The crispy chicken salad was also very nice and the chicken was very tender.
Tiramisu dessert to share after that and it was delicious. I've been waiting a LOOONG time for Tiramisu and this didn't disappoint.
Prices are pretty high, but you get quality food and service in return. We'll definitely be back!
This is a great find and probably one of the better restaurants I've been to in recent years. Service was excellent and the food choice was great. The dishes had a bit more zing compared to what you would find elsewhere which was a nice surprise (so many places just do the same old uninspiring dishes). A great atmosphere and reasonable price. Overall this place is definitely worth visiting.
The visit to Freemans Dining Room came as a surprise - only a last minute invitation by my partners boss - and how lucky was I (were we)! And if it would not have been for the slightly greasy but still fantastic fried prawns, I would have given the food the highest rating, too. My partner had the squid, perfectly cooked and presented, followed by braised lamb. I had the steak, exactly how I wanted it - and, yes, loved the "allumettes" fries :-)
The service was simply outstanding - and only when leaving, I found out that we had the privilege to have been waited on by the owner.
This time the bill was on somebody else - however we will be back for sure to enjoy another special meal - just the two of us - and next time we will try a dessert, too :-)
This has to be one of our favourite restaurants. You are guaranteed of excellent service and a fantastic quality of food. The menu enables a breadth of tastes to be satisfied and the liquid refreshment to go with it. One of the things I particularly like is that while you are not rushed in any way, neither are you left for too long!
First of all THANK YOU! The staff at Freemans are very accommodating especially when it comes to strange requests :o) I had my birthday dinner here for 3 people late on a sunday night, we had the whole restaurant to ourselves and it was divine. She cranked the music up to a good level and my parents and I prepared for gustation! I had the Salmon tortellini and it was a taste explosion, well seasoned and beautifully presented, followed by the pumkin ravioli which was lovely too then the staff brought out my dessert (Poached pears zabaglione) with a candle AND Happy Birthday written on the plate!! Love this place! My parents both had the prawns, the lamb and the icecream selection and could not find fault with anything! I would suggest a bread and dips kind of thing as grissini is blah and not fun to share. The service is impeccable and the restaurant itself is wonderfully presented, i hear that you can take-away too? The food is always top class, zucchini chips are a fun thing to have as well!
Just moved back to the area and what a great place to have on our doorstep. Dined on a Tuesday night, didnt book as we were just wandering the area planning on take out. restaurant seemed quite busy which drew us to it, Shared a squid entree and we both had pasta for a main, ravioli & cannelloni that again we both shared all very good and tasty, love the complimentry grissini.They advertise live Jazz at the weekend, will definatly return as this will our new local
I managed to secure a table for four at late notice on a friday night here after reading an interesting day menu and hearing some good things. We were seated by a smartly dressed waitress and ordered mojitos that were made with love, then looked over the menu. It reads extremely simple stating bare components and no technique. However when we recieved our cuisine it was immediatly evident that there was a huge level of skill in the small kitchen. My entree of pork belly was divine it had a pan'e for texture and the salad an excellent vinegrette that cut the pork perfectly. Mains were epic again with well executed preparation of the entire dish. Dessert, panacotta with saffron poached pineapple....Nice shimmy, perfect texture, just amazing. For a table from inside the hospo industry that cares for cuisine and good service we were certainly amazed to find a faultless evening. I suggest if you haven't been you go and see what perfection is.
I visited Freemans with my partner and a couple of friends and we really enjoyed it. I chose the grilled beef ribeye, medium-rare. It was cooked perfectly and incredibly tasty. My boyfriend opted for the braised pork cheeks and decided the meal was probably one of the best mains he's had since we invested in the Entertainment Book and started going out for dinner more often! For dessert I went for the tiramisu - delicious - but then also had dessert envy when my boyfriend and friend both ordered the chocolate tart... yum! The atmosphere of the restaurant was pleasant and the staff were friendly, polite and attentive. We would definitely return and certainly recommend Freemans to others.
Christchurch has few really good Italian-style restaurants and this one is definitely worth the visit. Being in Lyttelton adds a certain feel that is often lacking from places like those down the Strip. Its as though you could be sitting in a European port town. I have been here on about 4 occasions over the last couple of years and have been meaning to write a review since the first time I visited. I can say that the food quality is better than any place I have eaten at in Canterbury. The service is also top notch and consistent, which I am sure many regular dine-outers will know is also a rarity in NZ (in general). My menu recommendation? Fried prawns to start, the braised pork cheeks, tiramisu and a long black to finish it off! è fantastico!!
Sunday lunch. Had looked at the website and liked the fact that it said there was "live jazz every Sunday from 1pm". Were greeted promptly by staff and shown to a table. The menu we were given varied slightly to the one on the website. My husband was looking forward to a grilled beef ribeye steak, but had to settle for a steak sandwich (which was like a steak club sandwich). I had Summer minestrone, which was packed full of veges with meatballs, but was unseasoned and quite watery. The grilled piece of bread on the side was well grilled and had a burnt taste to it. We had to ask for water, and we were offered no ground black pepper, which we saw later on when a waitress took it to another diner. When we asked about the jazz, we were told that it wasn't very busy today and the weather wasn't warm enough as it takes place outside, although it was around 20 degrees. The deserts were good, Tirasimu was excellent and the chocolate tart,
My OZ friend visited Chch and I took him to this Italian restaurant. I have to say the food are excellent not only Entree also Mains. Services are really great too with wonderful smile on their faces and good presentations! Their food is a piece of art with a great pleasure just to look at it, let alone the wonderful taste!! Will definitely introduce this restaurant to my friends...
An outstanding restaurant. I was taken there for my birthday by my wife and it rates as one of the best presents I've had! Exceptional food, attentive yet not intrusive service and an clean and stylish setting. Highly recommended. Get through that tunnel soon!
A kakopygian fubsy I am not but I do like to dine out frequently - some might suggest too often to maintain the appearance of a Greek God. I don't review every restaurant or cafe that I visit but in general make every effort to contribute handsomely to the profits of the food industry by enjoying the culinary fruits of other peoples' labours many times a week.
It was early last sunday afternoon that I found myself in the Port of Lyttelton groaking at the diners outside various eateries along London St. Before I knew it I was outside Freemans, which I thought was closed as there appeared to be no-one inside! Nonetheless, I went in and was immediately taken by the activity in the kitchen, clearly viewable from the entrance. There was an air of efficient but frenetic activity, not unlike what you would imagine with a group of professionals working in concert to achieve a result, whatever that might be. Not military precision as such but a sense of order and purpose.
I was cheerfully greeted and ushered to the absolutely wonderful deck at the rear of the building. This is where everyone was and it was like arriving home to a surprise party! The sun was beaming down, there was a gentle, cooling breeze. Carmel Courtney & Stephen McDaid were providing the most excellent jazz music live for the fortunate guests. The deck at Freemans is not unlike the deck of a small sailing ship, with a Poopdeck at one end. How lucky I was to score a table on this elevated section which not only allowed a great view across the tops of the umbrellas on the lower deck but also across the harbour to the dreamy hills of Church Bay & Diamond Harbour.
Service was impeccable and the Pork Belly salad beautifully cooked. The finely balanced flavours of cannellini beans, artichoke, fennel and lemon were just fantastic and bounced around the mouth bombastically. Georgie's Caesar salad was by far one of the most creatively arranged and, by her account, the most delicious had in a while. The colours were so vivid and fresh!
Without wanting to gush forth too effusively I must mention the serviettes. They were the thickest and most cloth-like I have ever encountered; what a marvellous change to the tissue thin, small size serviettes so oft encountered these days.
Nick & Sarah Freeman obviously work hard to deliver top food in a top location with style and energy. Not only do they give up their sundays to feed the hungry, they provide live music to boot. They have my undying love and I will return within weeks to develop the relationship.
Our group of 4 , dropped in, without a reservation, for Sunday lunch, and were accomodated, without any fuss or drama. Two of us opted for roast beef, and 2 for roast pork. I was hesitant about ordering the pork, because if not done well, it can be fatty / greasy. I was most pleasantly surprised, to receive a perfectly roasted dish, with ample fresh vegetables. All four of us enjoyed our 'old fashioned' roasts, something we rarely eat, and even more so, because the meal was impromptu, and we had no prior recommendation, or knowledge, of this restaurant. The restaurant was full, that day, the service excellent, and although we live at the extreme, opposite end of ChCh. we will certainly return to this fine eatery and are happy to recommend it , to others.
We went with another couple on a Friday evening. The restaurant was full which I think is always a good sign. The service was great. Between us we ordered the roast groper and the lamb, and all had the ice cream selection for dessert. Presentation and quality of food was superb, perhaps tables a little close together, but great atmosphere. It was a cool night and the place was invitingly warm and cosy. Will be back.
Went as a group of 4 to Freemans. The starters were tasty with 2 grilled squid salads, battered prawns & a goats cheese based one. These were tasty. The menu was clearly not over descriptive and this was pleasing to see but a bit more detail could have been given e.g. the prawns were not indicated that they were battered.
The mains were all nice with groper, lamb and salmon dishes being well cooked and served with nice complementary vegetables. The service was varied, the first guy friendly and smiley and the second one being less cheerful.
A good value restaurant with a nice ambient atmosphere in the heart of Lyttleton.
We've regularly visited Freemans over the summer months to enjoy the Cichetti menu while sitting out on the deck, but this was our first visit to Freemans in recent months. Like the previous reviewer, I was disappointed at first to notice that the Cichetti menu had disappeared (maybe it'll be back in Summer?), however many of these dishes are now appearing as entrees and mains throughout the menu, and this has also made way for some great new dishes - such as the Sunday roasts. We enjoyed some prawns and breads to start, both of which were very enjoyable and good value. He then had the chicken while I went for the Pork Roast - absolutely fantastic. The crispy roast pork belly was accompanied by a lovely apricot stuffing which I was very surprised to enjoy as I don't usually enjoy sweet and savoury foods together; and also by a separate dish of vegetables which included some very good roast potatoes, yams, and even some edible brussels sprouts. Loved the individual gravy jug too. Don't ask me how but we also managed some handcut chips - which are a favourite of mine along with Freeman's own grissini. All in all I am even more impressed with Freeman's new menu, which when accompanied by the great service we received from their maitre'd (?), some good wine and some jazz on a Sunday afternoon was one of the best meals I've had in Christchurch for some time. Definitely worth the trek!
A great Sunday favourite of ours and if you are looking for a great Sunday roast, this is the place, roast beef or roast pork belly with all the trimmings, proper yorkies! Individual gravy jugs and no objection when asked if we may have some more. The minestrone soup was just what the doctor ordered on a cold Sunday. Unfortunately as we had the breads and and soup to start, we had no room left for dessert. Always warm and welcoming, the place to be on a Sunday. They are in the Entertainment book which is even better!
We had a great meal here. The tortellini was exceptional. Great atmosphere and can't wait to go back and experience the Sunday brunch menu and the deck on a sunny day. Just wish it wasn't such a trek to Lyttleton.....it would be great to have this place within walking distance.
First time here. Great place. Tables a little close if you are going for a romantic nite out. Service was fast and friendly. My friend had the canneloni, I had beef cooked to perfection. Loved the zucchini fries. Great Latte. Cheers Guys. I will definately return.
A slice of heaven is the only way to describe the food and service at this place. Young staff, but really full of enthusiasm to ensure you are enjoying the food and are having an enjoyable time and to me that is priceless. We went for the Cinchetti menu and they had really nice fresh flavours. The Panacotta is probably one of the best I have tasted.
I love this place! It is a place that you should go to when you want to taste a little bit of everything over a period of a couple of hours. Wine selection excellent, service excellent, the lady on the saxaphone is very good, but not too loud. The cichetti are my all time favourites,(We have tried nearly all of them) I am not going to go on, go and experience it for yourself. Apparently in the summer the deck has the music on it, I can't wait to be sitting on the deck, eating great food, listening to good music and enjoying the view. Well done to all at Freemans, bring on summer and Sunday's at Freemans!
Had sunday brunch with a table of 4, and we shared 3 cichetti/entres between us: sauteed chicken livers were fresh but needed more marinating, excellent squid with salsa, and very tasty arancini (deep fried risotto balls). Our mains were huge and all delightfully fresh~but would have liked a seasoning theme. The rump steak, salmon, chicken were still well-enjoyed, and we all loved the zucchini shoestring fries! Could not resist ordering the tiramisu which was flavoursome with expresso soaked sponge and not too sweetly done. Very amicable bright environment and waitresses, excellent bathroom with its own chair on the side as well as a beautifully decorated mirror. Thoroughly enjoyable and can't wait to try the other cichettis~
This has to rate as one of the best dining experiences I've had in Christchurch. Freemans has a nice bistro feel to it with exposed brick walls, polished floors and stylish furniture and lighting etc. On the night we visited it was about half full and we experienced excellent service. The staff are pleasant, professional and polite. Our waiter even came over to us later in the evening to say goodnight as he was finishing his shift - a nice touch. But the food is the real clincher - fantastic. We hadn't originally intended to have three courses but the entrees and mains were so good that it seemed irresponsible not to try a dessert too. Nothing disappointed. I think Freemans have got everything right, long may that continue. We'll be back for sure.
well i wouldn't want kids there! My parents and i had a wonderful meal here i had the rotolo and the lamb with the pana cotta for dessert we all loved the food, but somehow somewhere we were overcharged, dad couldn't be bothered getting it fixed cos the meal was fantastic anyway! The toilets need finishing (i see myself as a bit of a loo conissuer) just a gew touches and theyd be a ten! The pana cotta was a little runny but it was really good tasting. Our grissini was a little stale and the drinks were kind of expensive, good service albeit a little pushy, the guy had great shoes on we will be back again!
Second time at Freemans, and I just want to reinforce my initial comments. I tried totally different food this time too, the Mushroom Entree and the Lamb cutlets, both were superb. The other two at the table agreed, this food is simply exellent !! Service was very friendly and prompt, albiet it wasnt a very busy Thursday night. One thing I note, the 2003 Thornbury has gone up, its still a good buy, butI knew it was too good to be true the last time !! A place that I will be going to regularly !!
Food was great, the pork is fab, but the place is not very good if children there. It has wooden floors and the night we were there was a baby cried and cried which made dining out very unpleasant, It was 8 oclock at night, yes it was the parents responsiblilty to keep the child quiet but they did not so the is was very noisy and unpleasant with this child crying
You can tell with a place of relatively new status that they are really trying to get it right. And they have. This place was rocking on a Friday night, busy, vibrant and alive. The food was very VERY good, and the desserts were too. A nice wine list with a couple of excellent deals (A 2003 Thornbury Pinot for $ 38 !!) and overall, great value for the experience. A little bit more atention to detail would make this a very hard act to follow. I recommend this place, well worth the wee drive through the tunnel !
Sat outside on a summer evening.Fairly nondescript but adequate.I suppose upmarket dining tables are not the kiwi way.Anyway we went for the much-vaunted food.Maree had the calimari and found it tasty but a little over-cooked and i should add she is a calimari expert.I really liked the pork belly with thinly sliced lemon-a reflection of my love of lemon.Maree had the pork cheek which got a good reception.Did not like the sauce on the pork but was really impressed with the red cabbage and the mash was superb,not to mention great spiced apple.I tried some and agreed.By comparison my risotto was not such an exciting venture.I would say it was a very very good risotto but then again risotto can only rise so high in the culinary realm and i was trying to enthuse myself into trying it at home.We will return to Freemans because we can see they know what they are about-very good,unpretentious food.
In contrast to the previous review , we had a very pleasant dining experience at Freemans.
It was a warm, sunny evening when we arrived at 6p.m. with two children in tow- the first diners there. we were seated outside in a pleasant courtyard, & presented with grissini sticks, cold water, & menus.
The waitress was extremely knowledgeable, pleasant, & in no way pushy. Our wine had the normal mark-up one expects at a restaurant.
The venison tagliatelle was generous, & tasty. My partner's "brick" chicken- a subtle combination of flavours & colours, my clam tagliatelle was divine, & I will definitely be going back for that dish- cooked al dente with a silky ,flavoursome coating. My son's groper was thick & juicy, with the skin nicely charred,but I agree was slightly underseasoned.
My only quibble would be that the food took a time to appear, however we were presented with more delicious grissini to compensate.
Prices were very reasonable, & we left very happy.
One of a group of 5 who visited Freemans for an evening meal. It is very small with clean lines and a large gilt mirror to give the illusion of space. Lots of hard surfaces so it must be very noisy when full but not too bad on the cold wet night we were there. At the table we had complimentary grissini and the rapt attention of the owner/maitre de, reasonably pushy about pre-dinner drinks. She was helpful with the wine list although mis-read our level of knowledge somewhat. Small range of wines but a well thought-out selection. We opted for a local Pinot Gris (delicious) and a Cloudy Bay Chardonnay - both about 100% mark-up on retail. The menu offered a good range of options. I went for the calamari with chilli - it was at best OK - lots of it, but cut into much smaller pieces than I had expected so lost any "look" and some of the texture. Flavours good. Others had the salmon risotto that looked dreadful but tasted good - slight mix-up on the sizes (avaiable entree and main) but the error handled well. For the main I had groper in a consumme type base - very good but very simple and plain. Salad/veges were extra and $6 for a few undressed leaves with a shaving of parmasean was not good value for money. Desert looked excellent but we were not in the mood. Coffee to finish was of good quality. All in all I doubt I'll be back. It is reasonably highly priced for what is quite simple food.
Excellent food, excellent service. Went in a group of 15 and all had a main, dessert and drink within 2.5 hours. Everyone commented on how great the food was. We were seated on the deck on a nice sunny day, absolutely perfect. Sun doesn't tend to come round until 1ish though so keep that in mind. Will be stunning in summer. Will go again!
Went with a group of 10 on a Thursday night. The food was excellent, well priced and the wine list a good. Service was friendly and considering that there was a large group in the restaurant at the same time as us, was prompt. I would happliy go back.
Visting Freemans on a Saturday night, and we were seated in a great position in a cosy booth at the side of the restaurant. From the lovely entrees (fried prawns went down a treat for the boys, crisp pork belly for me was tender and juicy) to our mains of Linguine, Salmon and Pork Chop, the food at Freemans was enjoyable and we thought good value for money (entrees $12 - $15, mains around $29). A mistake with one of the entrees was quickly rectified, and I'm sure with more time the service will become more confident and polished also - there were quite a few small errors with the bill at the end. All in all though, would recommend Freemans and will return!
We went to Freemans last night with a group of 19 people. I have to say the pumkin ravioli entree was probably the best entree I've ever had, simply delicious. The service was excellent and we didn't have to wait long. Sarah made us feel like at home and the atmosphere was great. I thouroughly enjoyed it!
My 14 year old son and I returned to Freemans, as promised, after having had a coffee there the previous weekend. We were shown to our table, in the window near the fire. Lovely on a grey windly Saturday at lunch time. The black board menu was brought over and after initially having a fear that my son would not find anything he liked the look of, I was pleased when he selected the Pork with tomatoes, herb and parmesan crust. I chose the Parmesan and cauliflower soup and requested some bread to go with it. (it think the bread was coming anyway) The soup was devine but the breads were something else. As best as I could see there was garlic baked into the bread, 3 brown slices, and it too had parmesan and herbs on top. Pure heaven.
Our mains arrived and as I shaped up to the calamari with chilli and rocket on a bed of camalleri(sp?) beans, I heard my son exclaim "Oh my God, this is good" Very high praise indeed! He proceeded to clean his plate. My lunch was also very very good. I had a tap beer to accompany the meal with softdrinks for my son. We were offered desert but selected a coffee and hot chocolate respectively. I managed to talk with the chef after using the wash room and was able to convey my compliments to him in person. I was very impressed and I will be returning, next time I'll try the evening menu. Don't tell your friends, keep this one for yourself. It is in danger of becoming very very popular. Theres a cute wee pre loved clothing store next door also.